Thursday, February 10, 2011

Tenkara on a Budget

I'm sure many of you have heard of Tenkara by now; it's the simplistic, Japanese version of what we know as fly fishing. Essentially, what you have is a 12 foot rod, the fly line that attaches to the end of the rod (no reel!) a leader and a fly.

These are good for smaller streams (presumably with no overhang.)

There is the offering from Tenkara USA, which I've been hearing rave reviews about, but it's about $150 for the rod itself. You then need the special line, etc.

Of course, $200 for a fly fishing outfit is pretty good, but still a lot of people (myself included) haven't firmly decided to take the Tenkara plunge. Namely, at least for myself, due to the different style of the rod and how useful am I really going to find this rod? There are not too many small streams near here that have the clearance for a 12' rod. $200 for a rod I can use on 2 or 3 streams turns into $200 for a rod that sits in a corner for 363 days a year. No thanks.

But now there is a new manufacturer of Tenkara rods, these aimed at those that have these misgivings, Fountainhead. These rods are in the $45-80 range, making them much more palatable. You can check them out at Tenkara Fly Fishing.  They also have a lot of other information on Tenkara rods and Tenkara fishing.

Not sure about you but I'm thinking these lower priced Tenkara rods are PHAT(Pretty Hot And Tempting) and, in all honestly, I've spent $60 (for rod and line) on stupider stuff. I think that within the next few weeks I'll take the plunge, and post my experiences.

Who knows? Maybe one day this summer you'll find me on the banks of some stream, Tenkara rod in hand and silly straw hat on head...... or maybe not!


  1. Hey, I have this friend, OWL Jones, that would love to pick up one of those silly hats! Ha.

  2. I so need one of those hats. RD is right! :)

    I can tell you from my recent experience with TenkaraUSA's Iwana 11' rod that - as you'd expect - you'd play heck trying to use that in a stream with a canopy of any type. My theory was that you'd be better off in those types of creeks with a 5 ft tenkara rod. However, lo did I maketh a horrible mistaketh. I asked about a 5 ft tenkara on TenkaraUSA's forum and all heck broke out. Apparently, small in some parts of the country means just small water. Small where I'm from means fishing bent over at the waist using your best bow-n-arrow casts. In which case, an 11 ft rod is just silly! :) LOL

    I'm doubtful that the tenkara will replace my western rigs. I'm also doubtful that anyone fishing a "single fly" zen-like or not, would do as well as another angler who fishes a PT nymph with no hatch, and then changing to a #16 CDC yellow sally in the evening for the hatch.

    So yeah, tenkara. my's ok. :) it's not the best thing since sliced bread though. And I like bread. :)

  3. Then me and owl will be sporting in style. ;)

    I agree, it seems many people consider a small stream to be 10 feet across in the middle of some field. I only know of one section of stream like that around here. Must be nice...

    If you want a 5' Tenkara rod, just take an old spinning rod and tie a 10' furled leader to the end. Who knows, it might even work too.